WONGOSOL Holds tTwo-day Training Of Trainers Workshop

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The Women NGOs Secretariat of Liberia (WONGOSOL) in collaboration with Sister Hand Liberia, with funding from UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women, has begun a two-day Training of Trainers workshop for implementing partner and sub-contractors, under the “Liberia Fights FGM Project,” aimed at contributing towards ending Female Genital Mutilation in Liberia. The training which runs from February 13- 14, 2024 brought together over twenty-one participants, who are all professionals and working in the project counties. The training has specific objectives to achieve the following: enhance the skills of practitioners to develop appropriate technical knowledge and competencies to rollout step-down training on responding and preventing violence against women in the context of FGM, gain additional skills to safeguard, support and care for survivors and spot signs of FGM to prevent such violence from happening, last, to enhance partner skills in tracking, documenting and reporting properly on activities under the project and through early warnings and early response mechanisms. The participants, however, represent the seven implementing partners from the six counties, where the project is being implemented.  Those counties include: Bong, Margibi, Cape Mount, Montserrado, Gbarpolu and Bomi. This project is in line with the call to end FGM in Liberia, noting that there is urgency to ultimately, end the practice. According to the Executive Director of WONGOSOL Esther Davis Yango , although the temporary bans have been placed on FGM, Liberia does not have a law against this form of violence and a large portion of the population is unaware of the temporary ban and many ways in which FGM violates their human rights. Madam Yango indicated that this project proposes to implement measurable strategies over a three-year period that will raise awareness about the temporary ban the harms effects of FGM and to change attitudes so that, eventually, it will end. She stated that WONGOSOL is partnering with Sister Hand Liberia under this project. The project is been implemented in four geographic areas with the highest prevalence rates of FGM and where WONGOSOL and its partner along with the sub-contractors continue to build relationships with stakeholders toward permanent change.  According to her, these areas include: Bong County: Salala, Jorquelleh and Fuama districts; Bomi County: Clay, Senjeh, Seuhn-Mecca, Dewoin districts; Gbarpolu County: Gbarma, Bopolu, Bokomu and Kongba districts; Grand Cape Mount: Garwula, Common-wealth, Tewor and Gola Konneh districts; Margibi County: Mambah kaba, Gibi and Kakata districts and Montserrado County; Careysburg, St. Paul River and Todee districts. She explained that WONGOSOL has built strong advocacy networks across sectors aimed at ending FGM.  “We expect that working with survivors of FGM will result in empowerment such as supporting their education, or providing them with life skills ” Madam Yango added. She noted that the grant is addressing strategic initiatives ultimately aimed at passing a law that will end FGM in Liberia. “We anticipate the following results: (a) increased educational awareness about the temporary ban and the effects of FGM, advocacy for the proposed law, and the rights of women and girls ((c) health and psychosocial support for survivors of FGM; (d) support from lawmakers and traditional leaders; and e) alternative income generating activities for Zoes” she stressed. She pointed out that the workshop is intended to enhance the capacity of implementing partners who are to conduct trainings for coalitions members in the six (6) counties where the project is implemented.  “We believe that we need to enhance your capacity so that you can in order go back in the communities and build the capacities of the coalition members that you all have already established ” she maintained. Madam than called on participants to be robust in their advocacy with stakeholders.

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